Years ago, I proposed a possible solution to the voting problem.
The answer was always *supposed* to be that you comment on an writeup if you think it could be better, so on and so forth. People don't like to do that. There are different reasons. Some people like to comment. Others don't want to get into a squabble. They feel uncomfortable being critical of a stranger, or someone who is better known on the site than they are.
As I always used to say in the old days, what works in theory doesn't always work in practice. You can't force people to do things differently. You're pushing against human nature. This causes people to pick up stakes and move on. You have to give them some breathing room. You have to account for differences in people and how they respond to a variety of situations. One of those situations involves interacting with others. People who spend a lot of time online, historically speaking, tend to be on the more introverted side. They skew towards "I don't want to get involved" rather than "jump right in and roll the dice, baby." So, these people aren't going to comment and interact with strangers on the site no matter how many times you tell them to.
One of the other things I came to realize over the years is that people often feel guilty about *NOT* voting on a writeup they read. I do it all the time... whenever I can't make it to the end of a writeup, I don't vote. I don't vote unless I read the whole thing. Of course, if the first paragraph makes me want to tear out my spleen and stomp on it, yeah, I'm downvoting it. I don't like reading things that make me want to physically tear my spleen out of my body.
The point is, people feel obliged to vote. There is something that just doesn't sit right about abstaining. So, if they don't feel strongly one way or another about a writeup, they're going to upvote it unless they are by nature a complete asshole. And then they are always going to downvote it. My suggestion back in the day was to have a neutral vote button. This would indicate that although you thought the writeup was okay, it just didn't do anything for you. Something was off. Something was missing. You could also comment. But, as I said above, not always going to happen no matter how hard you twist those arms.
You see, the interactivity of the site evolved completely differently from the original projections. So much so that it was difficult for the site to adjust. The projected ability to comment as an anonymous person, which would allow people to feel freer about commenting on writeups, disappeared when the community aspect of the site developed. Became kind of like a suburban high school instead of a stodgy book club filled with professors who only wash their boxers once a week.
Voting has always been influenced by popularity and personality. Hell, I know there are people who upvote the biggest names on the everything2 circuit who do the "well, this guy is famous around here but there are a lot of words in this writeup. I better just upvote it" bit. There has always been that. And there has always been the "that guy gave me shit in the catbox last week, downvote this sucker" element. It is why all vote tallies on writeups come with a +/- rating of 15 on them. The votes are not accurate. They never have been. They are an indicator of next to nothing... except, perhaps, how many people have read the writeup... unless you are a famous name who automatically gets ten upvotes every time they post a new writeup. It isn't their fault. They didn't ask to be promoted to the elite class. They didn't ask to get champagne cocktails and caviar every time they posted about taking a shit while reading a magazine.
For the voting system to have any meaning, it needs more options. If not a neutral feelings button, then a rating scale of 1 to 10 or something along those lines. The whole upvote or downvote thing just makes people throw up their hands and go, "Eh, let's just upvote it so I can make dinner."
Or perhaps other options. You could have an option to say "I read it and enjoyed the content" or "I made it about halfway through before being distracted by lint" or other thoughts. People like multiple choice questions. They hate true or false. Just the way it is. Change the system. Start a revolution.